youth posing with their cow holding a blue ribbon for excellence after winning their show class at the fair

Dairy Program

Delaware County 4-H has a great dairy program. We offer educational clinics, shows, dairy quiz-bowl, dairy judging, dairy challenge, and more.

Ownership

All 4-H dairy cattle must be owned and registered by June 15 to be shown at the Delaware County Fair and New York State Fair.

Non-Ownership Animal Projects

This option is for 4-Hers who do NOT already own stock are eligible.

Did you know that people who do not live on a farm or do not have registered stock can still have a 4-H animal project? The 4-H Non-ownership Animal Project allows 4-Hers the chance to care for an animal and show it just as their own.

Purpose

The purpose of the non-ownership is to allow youth to CARE for a 4-H project animal that he/she might not otherwise have had the opportunity to care for.

A completed 4-H Non-ownership Animal Project Certificate is required in order to participate.  It is also strongly recommended that a 4-H Animal Lease Agreement be completed as well.  Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) encourages the use of written lease agreements, however, it is the responsibility of the owner and exhibitor to agree upon the lease terms.  Neither CCE Delaware County or Cornell University is legally involved in writing, implementing, or terminating any lease agreements.

  • Non-ownership IS NOT available to youth already owning an animal of that species
  • Non-ownership Animal Limits: Youth who own no species of this type may register two (2) non-owned animals of this species as their project animal(s) per youth fair, youth exhibition, or 4-H show/exhibition at their county’s discretion.  This applies to the county and state level.
    • DAIRY CATTLE, DAIRY GOAT, MEAT GOAT, BEEF CATTLESHEEP and SWINE: TWO (2) non-owned animal per species – but may only show one animal, per species, per youth fair, youth exhibition or 4-H show/exhibition – this applies to the county and state level
    • HORSEONE (1) – The only exceptions are donkey, mule, miniature equine, and driving equine (used only for driving) – in which case a youth may own or lease an equine and also lease a donkey, mule, miniature equine and driving equine (used only for driving)
  • Non-owned animals must meet all requirements (dates, registration, health, etc.) pertinent to that species
  • Non-ownership deadlines
    • JUNE 1 of the current year for HORSES
    • JUNE 15 of the current year for DAIRY CATTLE (non-milking), BEEF CATTLE (non-auction), DAIRY GOAT, MEAT GOAT, SHEEP and SWINE – Except for horses and beef steers for auction
  • Auction animals ARE NOT eligible for the 4-H Non-ownership Animal Project
  • Completed copies of the 4-H Non-ownership Animal Project Certificate and 4-H Animal Lease Agreement must be on file at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County office by: JUNE 1 of the current year for horses and JUNE 15 of the current year for all other species.
  • Completed copies of the 4-H Non-ownership Animal Project Certificate and 4-H Animal Lease Agreement form, signed by all parties, must be presented at the Delaware County Fair and the Farmers’ Museum Junior Livestock Show, along with appropriate health and registration papers.

Delaware County 4-H Non-Ownership Animal Project Form

4-H Dairy Quizbowl

A team event that uses a question and answer format with game show style buzzers to learn information about dairy cows. Our youth practice during the winter months to get ready for competition. You do not need any previous experience or have to own cows to participate. Mike Steele is the coach.  Winners may be eligible to compete at the District, State, and National levels. Visit the New York State Development Program/Department of Animal Science web site to view past contest questions or study materials.

4-H Dairy Judging

A series of three barn meetings take place in late winter and early spring where 4-H youth judge various breeds and classes of dairy cows. The barn meetings take place at various dairy farms in Delaware County that agree to host our 4-Hers for an afternoon. The cows are grouped according to their breed and age. 4-Hers rotate from one class to another with their score cards and rank the animals according to their dairy characteristics.  You do not need any previous experience or own cows to participate.

4-H Dairy Challenge

A one day competition held at the Delaware County Fair designed to test youth on their understanding of the dairy industry and how to properly manage a dairy farm.  The contest is set up as a rotation through any or all of the following stations testing skills and knowledge: Dairy Judging, Linear Dairy Evaluation, Farm and Food Safety, Dairy Nutrition and Feeds, Dairy Housing and Facilities, Meat Identification, Dairy Products and Quality Assurance of Dairy Beef, Dairy Health and Diseases/Mastitis and Biosecurity, Dairy Reproduction, and Farm Business Management.  Winners may be eligible to compete at the State and National levels. Visit the New York State Development Program/Department of Animal Science web site to view the informational booklet and sample material.

Showing Dairy Cattle at the Fair

You’ll find more detailed information on the Fair Page, but here are some need to know basics to get you started.

  1. All cattle must be owned and registered by June 15.  No pending registrations/transfers will be permitted.
  2. All cattle will have their registration papers checked by the 4-H Dairy Advisory Committee on Monday of fair week.
  3. All cattle must have a BVD/PI ear notch test prior to fair.
  4. Official breed tags must be visible and unaltered.
  5. No coaching of exhibitors will be allowed from outside of the show ring.

For more information, contact John Hannum

4-H Team Leader 

jth44@cornell.edu

(607) 865-6531